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How to Recruit your Next Superstar Team Member

Recruitment of your next staff member is often left till the last minute, done without prior planning and with the idea that it's cheaper and more effective to do yourself.  Companies are often in a hurry to recruit therefore take the 'best out of a bad bunch' approach.  Employees are the biggest and most important asset of any company and therefore deserve a robust and clearly defined process and to aid in the process there are some vitally important elements to consider ensuring you attract and recruit the next superstar for your team.

First, question whether you need to recruit, look at the structure of your team and the skillset and personalities that currently exist.  Can the tasks of this role be dispersed among other team members or could you promote someone internally?  Only once this has been considered can you be sure what your recruitment needs are of if there is a need at all.

Job descriptions are of vital importance and five bullet points does not suffice!  Job descriptions provide a candidate with specific details on the intricacies of the job including key competencies, tasks, measurements and expectations of the role.  It serves a purpose for both the candidate and recruiter/company and assists in shortlisting or deselecting candidates by matching candidates' skills and experience against the select criteria required for the role.  It cannot be underestimated how critical having a job description is and you should always have one ready to send to candidates on request.

First impressions count and the job advertisement is often the first introduction for a candidate to your company.  Ads should to be written in a way that attracts the type of candidate you are after - they want to know 'what's in it for me'.  Include specifics of the job as well as showcase the benefits and fun things that working for your company will provide.  Culture is important so make sure the ad is written in a language that properly reflects who you are as a company.  It's also imperative that you advertise in the right channels and this will depend on the type of role and demographic you are trying to attract.  For example, if you want to attract mandarin speaking candidates you might post your ad on Hougarden.

One of my pet hates is the lack of or no communication that applicants commonly experience.  If you are running the recruitment process for your company you must be available to answer questions.  The way you communicate with your candidates will help them form an impression on your company so get back to people - all applications should be acknowledged; it's only polite!  Timeliness is also key as good candidates are active and being interviewed elsewhere, they will eventually drop out if they don't hear back or the process is taking too long.

Be prepared for interviews by booking a meeting room and having pre-prepared questions that are relevant and measure specifics of the role.  Ask for facts, figures and examples of how they have reacted in specific situations or provide scenarios for them to talk through.  If you can't measure you can't find a match.  Most important, ensure you give candidates your full attention as good candidates spend a lot of time and effort applying for positions.  Don't forget as much as you are checking out candidates they are checking you out too!

It's important that you get a well-rounded assessment of your candidates and there are a few ways in which to do this.  Psychometric testing is designed to measure a candidates' suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude as well as the company-candidate fit.  It's important to understand the make-up of your current team and how each personality ticks.  There are also a number of specific skills type tests which will help confirm that your candidate can in fact do what they say they can do.  Reference checks are a must and a minimum of two should be conducted.

As we all know the recruitment process takes time and effort and you have to make time to conduct this process well.  When it's done right you will relieve any doubts and end up with that superstar you set out to find.  Don't forget it's an investment into the company and your people are your biggest asset!